She moves and leaps

Technically Aviana doesn’t  crawl, she scoots on her bum and drags her right leg. It’s kind of Gollum like and a little creepy…if I dressed her up in some weird creepy baby Halloween costume, she would terrify many people with her scooting crawl.  When she was learning to get from A to B she was incredibly frustrated as she developed this skill, but as soon as she figured it out, all was right with the world. I sense this period of frustration happened again, but this time with walking.

Aviana has been ‘walking’ with our assistance for quite some time.  Even the doctor thought she would be walking within weeks of when we saw her at the 9 month wellness visit.  But no, and I could see that Aviana was very frustrated by this.

Another odd thing happened.  Aviana turned into a grumpy/touchy baby with head banging and hair pulling being her signature move.  I wondered what had happened to my sweet girl, who seemed to turn into the demon toddler from hell. So I thought I should check my wonder weeks app and low and behold, she started her 8th leap. It was the exact day her grumpiness started that the leap started.

The wonder weeks app has proven to be very accurate in its timings over the past year. This particular leap is the ‘world of programs’ leap. The signs of this leap includes temper tantrums. I thought that babies didn’t have temper tantrums much later into toddlerhood, but I was so wrong!

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Really, we think Aviana can walk and that she hasn’t sussed out that it’s actually quicker to get places by walking. We think this because she can walk with us holding just one hand (barely a finger even). But on my Birthday (a few days ago), at 53 weeks old she decided to walk on her own! She was very pleased with herself! But was so excited she kept falling over. Which frustrated her more.  So I think the mental leap and her walking development turned her into a very touch baby.  Technically we have 18 days left of this leap, but with her figuring out how to walk she became noticeably a little less grumpy. With the wonder leaps, I tend to find that she is crankiest at the beginning and end of the leap, but not always constantly for the whole leap.

I am really excited about this leap, I can see her doing some of it already in just the past week.  Aviana has been very observant of us making breakfast, dinner and knows the correct order of putting the toys away in the bath just before she gets out. The signs are all there of her working through this leap.  The wonder weeks has been a really fascinating app to help us through some of her crankier stages in life.

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More food please!

The thing about being a parent to an IUGR* baby is that you get paranoid about their weight, lack there of . A few weeks ago Aviana was barely drinking any milk and refusing solids. For almost two weeks, it got to the point where I asked Chris should we make an appointment to see the doctor? I asked him if he thought I was making a fuss out of nothing? I had weighed her twice on her scales and she was dropping slightly off her own curve. As an analyst I know better that two data points don’t constitute a trend! But it got me worried. So Chris said it can’t hurt to talk to the doctor.

With that in mind and in typical fashion, literally the next day Aviana started eating like she was a giant who hadn’t eaten for months. She drank all her milk and ate all her food. Well, except for meat. Aviana does not like meat at all. We continue to offer, but to no avail. And the majority of vegetables, she won’t touch them anymore. But we have found cunning ways to get her to eat vegetables. Breaded with cheese, baked in muffins and cooked in fritters! That is with the exception of peas, she will eat peas til the cows come home. Go peas! Just give her a big bowl of peas and she will devour them delightfully. It was wonderful to see her eat!

Just as Aviana was getting good at eating…she got ill, and we are back to square one. She has even been refusing her firm favourites of yoghurt, fruit and cereal! But I’ve learned from the past few months that she will be ok. She won’t starve. Mostly because she now knows the baby signs for milk, more, and eat! It makes it a bit easier that she can communicate with us. So we are trying to teach her other signs to help reduce some of the crying and fussing.

I haven’t weighed her recently, but we did measure her height using a highly inaccurate method of her ‘standing’ next to her height chart. It looks lime she has grown almost 1.5″ in the past three weeks! She is tall in comparison to her classmates so it will be interesting to see her official height according to the doctors in a couple of weeks time. She still doesn’t have rolls of fat on her, but she has definitely grown some fat on her, it makes me proud how far she has come this year. It’s been an amazing and interesting year of milk and food discovery that’s for sure. I’ve learned a lot more than I thought I would have by now about how to feed a baby and a toddler. I know we have a lot more to learn as our baby grows into a stubborn toddler 😝

*intrauterine growth restricted

When people call your daughter a boy

Ever since Aviana was born we’ve always had comments like ‘oh what a cute boy’. And honestly, I don’t blame them, she does kind of have boyish looks – mostly because of her hair, or lack of hair I should say. I tend not to care, it’s the other person who gets embarrassed when they realise their mistake and apologize profusely.

Last weekend in Aviana’s weekly gym class we introduced ourselves to each other as usual, including our children. As we were playing later on one dad spoke to Aviana when she was trying to climb a step… ‘that’s it little buddy, you can do it!’ I ignored it and just laughed along. But His wife was horrified at his mistake and tried to tell him subtly that Aviana was actually a girl. He sort of looked at his wife to question her and to say really??! I said to him it’s OK, it’s the lack of hair you can’t tell. She was dressed in purple and earlier I had introduced my daughter Aviana, to the group…but never mind, I let it wash over me.

Later that day we headed out to Christmas town at Busch Gardens, we bundled Aviana up in a snow suit we had been given from some friends that was blue and orange, with a pink bobble hat. You couldn’t see that she didn’t have much hair, but still people called her a boy!!!

Admittedly we don’t have lots of overly girly clothes, and right now as she is crawling and learning to walk dresses are totally inappropriate. She has got a few pink and floral print items, but that doesn’t always seem to stop the boy comments oddly enough.

Honestly, if I am not 100% certain of the gender of a baby I have just met I don’t say either way and keep it neutral until I am certain! Even though I don’t get offended, at some point Aviana will understand and it may offend her, I’m just not sure when that is likely to be! Hopefully by then her hair will be long enough to keep the commenters away!

Break break break – end of breastfeeding

OK so it’s been a while.  I took a small social media and blog break. And then I took a longer blog break than I expected.  Why?  Because Aviana practically weaned herself and my hormones went crazy.  I decided to stop pumping at work and just breastfeed at home and weekends.  Well, that lasted for less than two weeks.  My body said NOPE, my milk supply tanked and Aviana, who also caught a cold at the time, said NOPE and became less and less interested in my milk, which then also caused my supply to tank.  That was really hard.  I wasn’t really ready to give up breastfeeding.

I knew it was a risk to stop pumping at work and in the evenings, but it was becoming too challenging to keep up, and people were less understanding for my time out pumping.  I am stronger than that to give a shit about what other people think, but it was tough.  When I did stop pumping, it was exhilarating.  I gained back so much time in my life and felt in more control at work. I saved time in the mornings not having to pack my giant bag of pumping related stuff.  I really needed that.  It did mean that I also lost the time I spent catching up with friends whilst pumping went back to work.

I have barely read anyone’s blog posts and for a while couldn’t do social media because my hormones went whacky.  Pregnant people? Nope.  Breastfeeding mothers? Nope. People all happy? Nope.  I couldn’t handle it, so I hid for a little while.  A couple of my friends are still breastfeeding and honestly was sad that my journey with Aviana had come to an end.

Aviana was also going through a leap, weaning, teething, eating less and having cold after cold (probably because she stopped breastfeeding) – she was pretty miserable.  Having stopped breastfeeding I was paranoid she wasn’t eating enough.  She was only taking 2 or 3 oz of milk at each bottle feed and became really picky over her food.  I was full of anxiety over it.  Thankfully, it seems to have only been a phase, and literally the day after I said to Chris should we phone the doctor about it (her weight was starting to drop off her curve) she became a different baby.  In the last week she has been gulping down her bottles and eating like a machine.  Why do they put us through this?!?!!!!!

It turns out it is normal to suffer hormonal related extreme emotions when you stop breastfeeding.  In fact, I discovered through my online research it can actually trigger post partum depression and anxiety.  I didn’t get to that point, but I was literally going to bed crying, for no apparent reason.  Knowing that it was normal with the change in hormones helped me a lot.  It’s funny because in the past I’ve come to my blog to talk about this kind of stuff, but this time I didn’t.  I don’t know why.  I’m a bit sad about that, but I really did feel the extreme end of my emotions.

Lots of good stuff has happened since too so, I’ll save those for other posts.  And for now, I’ll say HELLOOOOO!  How are you?? I’m so excited about Christmas.  I’ve missed my blog and my lovely blog friends too 🙂

In honor of my breast feeding journey here are some of my favourite pictures…